The Italian Almanac

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Rule of Rose

Italian News - November 11

Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni crossed swords with horror and playstation addicts on Friday, vowing to seek an Italian ban on a controversial Japanese video game called Rule of Rose. "There is no way that a violent video game should be sold and distributed in our country... this game must not enter Italian homes," said the popular left-wing mayor.

Rule of Rose, a psychological horror adventure, was released in Japan last January by Sony and has arrived in Italy via the publisher 505 Games. Because of its allegedly disturbing content, Sony itself decided against releasing the game in America.

The game is set in 1930s England and revolves around Jennifer, a 19-year-old girl who is held captive in an orphanage by a group of deranged, sadistic children known as The Aristocracy of the Red Crayon. The player becomes Jennifer who, assisted by her dog, must keep herself alive by offering gifts to her mad captors and buy time as she searches for a way out of the orphanage.

Although the game relies more on psychological horror than gore, it does contain violence as well as hints of sadomasochism and lesbianism. It was allegedly the erotic bent that led Sony to drop the game in America, saying its content clashed with its corporate image there.